Lesson 1

Shapes That Are Solid

Lesson Purpose

The purpose of this lesson is for students to sort three-dimensional shapes and use their own language to describe them.

Lesson Narrative

In kindergarten, students were introduced to the names of squares, rectangles, triangles, circles, cubes, spheres, and cylinders. They sorted these shapes into categories and used their own language to describe them.

The purpose of this lesson is for students to use the language they already have to talk about three-dimensional shapes. This gives teachers a chance to informally assess students’ language, such as shape names, as well as words used to describe them (MP6). Students will be re-introduced to the names of three-dimensional shapes (cube, sphere, cylinder, and cone) over the next two lessons. Students do not need to use specific geometric vocabulary in this lesson; however, the teacher should use precise language to identify and describe shapes, especially rectangular prisms and triangular prisms, which may be new terms for students.

  • Action and Expression

Learning Goals

Teacher Facing

  • Sort three-dimensional shapes in a way that makes sense to them.
  • Use their own language to describe three-dimensional shapes.

Student Facing

  • Let’s sort and describe solid shapes.

Required Preparation

Activity 1:

  • Each group of 2 students needs about 15 different geoblocks and solid shapes, including different-sized cubes, cylinders, cones, spheres, rectangular prisms, and triangular prisms. 

Activity 2:

  • Place one solid shape (sphere, cone, cylinder, cube, triangular prism, and rectangular prism) in each bag. Each group of 2 needs 1 bag.
  • Consider making 1-2 more so there are extra bags if students finish a bag.
  • The chart made during the previous activity should be displayed for all to see.

CCSS Standards


Lesson Timeline

Warm-up 10 min
Activity 1 20 min
Activity 2 15 min
Lesson Synthesis 10 min
Cool-down 5 min

Teacher Reflection Questions

Reflect on the language students used to describe solid shapes. How can you help students begin to use more precise language in the next lesson?

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